How to Make Your Kids Clean up Their Rooms

Getting your kids to clean up the room can be a challenge that leaves both of you irritated and angry. Many kids will do just about anything to avoid cleaning up including whining, dawdling, getting distracted or trying to distract you, and outright refusal. Yelling, threatening, or cajoling may work sometimes but it is a not a long-term strategy as it will just put everyone in a bad mood and make them more resentful of having to clean up. But it is important to teach children to establish a routine of tidying up regularly, calmly, and – eventually – without prompting. This is an essential part of learning important life skills. In order to help you overcome and eventually avoid having this battle, here are some great tips to help you motivate your children to clean up.

Make Your Kids Clean Up Their Rooms

  1. Set a good example: Kids are far more responsive to what we do than what we say. Because of this, it is crucial to lead by example. Take pride in your home, keep your possessions in order, and always maintain a positive attitude toward the daily tasks of cleaning up, rinsing dishes, and putting things away. It will be much harder to encourage your children to be organized if you are always misplacing your car keys or letting unwashed dishes pile up in the sink.
  2. Respect their space: Children are more likely to want to keep their space tidy and organized if it feels like their own. Give them control over how the space looks and where things are kept and make sure it is clear that it is their responsibility to put their toys and sports equipment away so that they can find it again. Let them rearrange furniture, paint shelves, buy new sheets, decorate boxes to keep possessions in, and choose their own décor.
  3. Define cleanliness: You can tell your kids to clean up until you are blue in the face but it is never going to get done if you don’t tell them exactly what they need to do. Make a checklist to help them learn all of the steps involved in getting their room up to your standards of clean and don’t forget to include:
    • Making the bed;
    • Put laundry in the hamper;
    • Putting away clean clothes;
    • All toys and sports equipment off the floor and in its place;
    • Vacuuming
  4. Do chores together: Armchair supervision is often less effective than active participation. Set aside a specific amount of time to work together getting their room spic and span and, once they have learned how to perform all of the necessary tasks, use the time to catch up on how their schoolwork is going and what is going on with their friends.
  5. Set reasonable standards: Keep your expectations reasonable and offer help when they need it but don’t let yourself do all the work out of frustration or a desire to be helpful. Show them how to do something and then make them do it themselves or they will never learn. Proper cleaning up is essential to prevent illness and injury so establish strict rules about garbage, dirty dishes, moldering laundry, broken glass and/or scattered toys.